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The Sky at Night - Monday 7 Jan 2013, BBC1


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Old 11-01-2013, 12:07
briansy
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At a recent local astronomical meeting the speaker editor of a magazine when asked stated that he had asked bbc if the programme was continuing and they were lukewarm.
I feel there is a real danger we could lose this unless somehow the public could be made aware of this threat of closure.
I've no idea how that could be done.
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Old 11-01-2013, 13:37
Rodney McKay
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At a recent local astronomical meeting the speaker editor of a magazine when asked stated that he had asked bbc if the programme was continuing and they were lukewarm.
I feel there is a real danger we could lose this unless somehow the public could be made aware of this threat of closure.
I've no idea how that could be done.
I think the likes of Brian May, Terry Pratchet, Brian Cox and so on can make enough of a fuss to get the press attention.

I think it's too early to say if it will carry on or not, we know next months show is going out without Patrick obviously, and it may be as I mentioned before they've got some stuff in the can already to make a couple more shows.

There will be some at the BBC who want to get rid of it, even worse will be those at the BBC who will want to 'PC' it or youf-anize it.

Sky at Night with Tess Daley or Richard Bacon. What can you see at night on a London council estate inbetween nicking cars or doing a drugs deal. Let's get it down wiv da kidz.
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Old 13-01-2013, 14:29
TelevisionUser
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Tonight on BBC 4, there are a number of previous Sky at Night episodes about Mars, the outer planets, etc. plus some further Sir Patrick Moore tribute programmes: http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcfour/programmes/schedules
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Old 13-01-2013, 16:47
fayebeatle
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Dr Chris Lintott is perfect for this. I'd be happy if Prof Brian Cox or Dr Lucie Green get the nod. I think though the passing of Sir Patrick Moore is the excuse the BBC needed to cancel a monthly programme that costs peanuts. I'm surprised they haven't announced anything yet. We must stand together if they do. ( people power resurrected 6 Music ). I'm not confident they'll do the 'right' thing.
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Old 13-01-2013, 17:16
Rodney McKay
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Dr Chris Lintott is perfect for this. I'd be happy if Prof Brian Cox or Dr Lucie Green get the nod. I think though the passing of Sir Patrick Moore is the excuse the BBC needed to cancel a monthly programme that costs peanuts. I'm surprised they haven't announced anything yet. We must stand together if they do. ( people power resurrected 6 Music ). I'm not confident they'll do the 'right' thing.
Things may well be more complicated than they first appear. For example, I don't know what sort of contact (if any) the likes of Chris has with the BBC. I know in the past Patrick never had a formal agreement with the BBC it was done on a gentleman's handshake (from his book) so it depends if the BBC had committed to 2013 or not and if they HAD then went back on it I can see the BBC getting a right kicking in the press for that.

I suspect the BBC may let the show continue for a while and see what's what anyway, it is possible that they may well try to kill it off (as with the Naked Scientists) but in view of the low production costs they may end up getting more grief than that.

I think if they don't go for a March or April episode we'll hear soon enough as I'm sure the likes of Chris, Paul and Pete have to be available for filming and production meetings etc.
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Old 13-01-2013, 18:07
Matt_1979
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I agree that Brian May or Brian Cox would be good presenters, especially Brian May as he has good all-round knowledge like Patrick Moore had.

It was very sad to see the November edition of The Sky At Night as Patrick Moore looked ill then and for the first time he was reduced to the opening and closing of the programme. I thought he seemed better in the December edition and he was taking part in the discussion about the latest findings on Mercury, but seeing him in the January edition was very sad as he appeared very frail again and once again he only did the opening and closing.

To be honest, although Patrick was the face of the programme, it didn't seem good to me that he was still doing it when he appeared so frail and ill, it was upsetting to watch.
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Old 13-01-2013, 18:29
Keiō Line
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I don't think Brian Cox suits the style of the show. However I do think Brian May fits it like a glove.
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Old 13-01-2013, 19:01
Spot
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Tonight on BBC 4, there are a number of previous Sky at Night episodes about Mars, the outer planets, etc. plus some further Sir Patrick Moore tribute programmes: http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcfour/programmes/schedules
Just beginning now
.
Does anyone know why the Mark Lawson interview with Patrick, recorded in 2007, has not been shown before?
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Old 13-01-2013, 19:02
codeblue
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dont miss the shows on bbc from 7pm tonight

please no Brian Cox, he is no astronomer!
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Old 13-01-2013, 19:20
Rodney McKay
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Just beginning now
.
Does anyone know why the Mark Lawson interview with Patrick, recorded in 2007, has not been shown before?
I can't remember ever seeing it.
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Old 13-01-2013, 20:50
Spdub2
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Just beginning now
.
Does anyone know why the Mark Lawson interview with Patrick, recorded in 2007, has not been shown before?
I think it was probably recorded to be shown after his death and he just lasted longer than expected because the only other reason I can think of to not show it was that he said something controversial but then why show it now ?
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Old 13-01-2013, 22:21
Rodney McKay
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Yes it hadn't been shown before, nothing in it really that we didn't know, although the link to 2001 a Space Odyssey was something I'd not heard before.

He also said he wanted Chris to take over the show.
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Old 13-01-2013, 22:55
QwertyGirl1771
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A lovely way to spend 3 hours watching TV. It's quite amazing to think when Patrick started presenting TSAN how technology evolved to what we have now. He started with very primative pictures of planets and diagrams and now we have the best telescopes produced (and always being improved) to show planets with clarity. He started presenting on the very cusp of space exploration. It really is fascinating to look back at these old programmes and see how much has advanced. Patrick was a thoroughly engaging man.
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Old 13-01-2013, 23:03
Mystic Dave
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I expect that at the time, they expected that he would either give up or expire pretty soon, so it was going to be shown to mark either, but as noted above, he went on rather longer than expected.

Many people involved in conflict do not wish to think about it and I wish Lawson had left the subject alone. It sounded like PM damaged his back in a crash on landing or similar. As for the PC line he was pushing, some interviewers should give it a rest.
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Old 13-01-2013, 23:18
Rodney McKay
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A lovely way to spend 3 hours watching TV. It's quite amazing to think when Patrick started presenting TSAN how technology evolved to what we have now. He started with very primative pictures of planets and diagrams and now we have the best telescopes produced (and always being improved) to show planets with clarity. He started presenting on the very cusp of space exploration. It really is fascinating to look back at these old programmes and see how much has advanced. Patrick was a thoroughly engaging man.
I think the most amazing thing is how amateurs without spending vast fortunes can now get images that not so many years ago would have been the preserve of professionals.

I quite liked some of those old shows, also I not realised Chris had been with Patrick for so long, they had a clip from 2004 and I think Chris had been on the show as a guest long before that.
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Old 14-01-2013, 02:38
Rich Tea.
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I think the most amazing thing is how amateurs without spending vast fortunes can now get images that not so many years ago would have been the preserve of professionals.

I quite liked some of those old shows, also I not realised Chris had been with Patrick for so long, they had a clip from 2004 and I think Chris had been on the show as a guest long before that.
I have a feeling that Chris Lintott is almost exactly the same age as Sir Patrick was when he began The Sky At Night in 1957 at the age of just 34, so if he was to step into his shoes, who knows, he could do another 55 years himself, into the 2060's and even the return of Halley's comet in 2061.

I always recall Patrick on Blue Peter in 1986 talking about Halley's Comet, and saying "but unfortunately I will not be around the next time it appears in 2061". But I loved the piece in the Mark Lawson interview this evening with the clip of Patrick in 1982, saying if he was alive in 25 years time in 2007, and that interview being from that very year. At least you made that one Sir!

He may have been eccentric in his own way, but he was clearly incredibly modest with it, and that is an unusual character combination that means he really is unique in so many ways. The interview was a joy to watch.
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Old 14-01-2013, 12:53
atg
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The bit about helping people to use telescopes - and the other sorts of things they do in this vein - helps to bring in more viewers than the studio-based discussions
I thought that was an awful section, and totally pointless. Why have some people appearing on the programme just because they have decided, with no obvious prior knowledge of the subject, to splash out on a piece of kit then not be bothered to even try to work out what to do with it? Just made my blood boil a bit to be honest. However.
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Old 14-01-2013, 12:58
atg
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The BBC2 repeat is the short version shown at midnight and you could argue the half hour showing (why in Godís name this canít be the only version aired is a mystery - Why is there a short version at all?!?!?)
Agreed. I tend to avoid the short one. It's the same with QI, HIGNFY and a few radio programmes too. I like those enough to watch the longer versions, but not quite enough to watch ⅔ of it twice. If there really has to be two different versions at least show the longer one first.
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Old 14-01-2013, 13:10
atg
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Does anyone know why the Mark Lawson interview with Patrick, recorded in 2007, has not been shown before?
I wonder if he felt it wasn't a very good interview?

I thought it was difficult at times, Patrick on several occasions obviously misunderstanding the question asked, veering off on different tracks at random, and sometimes being difficult to understand, apart from refusing to talk about certain subjects.

On the whole very interesting however, and I learned a couple of new things.

I do remember reading, perhaps in his autobiography, about another boy who he came to regard as a kind of surrogate son, who was not mentioned, and thought might have been.
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Old 14-01-2013, 13:46
Rodney McKay
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I wonder if he felt it wasn't a very good interview?

I thought it was difficult at times, Patrick on several occasions obviously misunderstanding the question asked, veering off on different tracks at random, and sometimes being difficult to understand, apart from refusing to talk about certain subjects.

On the whole very interesting however, and I learned a couple of new things.

I do remember reading, perhaps in his autobiography, about another boy who he came to regard as a kind of surrogate son, who was not mentioned, and thought might have been.
There was something in one of the papers about that just after he died, there were I think a couple of men who said Patrick became a sort of father to them after their own dads had died.

He also thought of Chris as a son I think.
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Old 14-01-2013, 15:22
gerry d
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I think it was probably recorded to be shown after his death and he just lasted longer than expected
I'd be very surprised if that was the reason.
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Old 14-01-2013, 15:51
Elissa Richards
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I thought that was an awful section, and totally pointless. Why have some people appearing on the programme just because they have decided, with no obvious prior knowledge of the subject, to splash out on a piece of kit then not be bothered to even try to work out what to do with it? Just made my blood boil a bit to be honest. However.
Iím very much in agreement with you on this, it was very frustrating to see! Well tbh I think it was only the one couple that hadnít taken the time to unwrap their new scope! I hope they were a setup and not genuine amateur astronomers. If they were genuine I have every faith that scope will sit unused for years at a time once they get home. I think this episode had been made with Stargazing Live in mind and the crossover of new people. I was a little dismayed virtually of them turned up with GOTO scopes but thatís another subject!! (most astro forums will invariably have people recommending an 8" dob for similar buck - we never see one on these programmes)

I love the footage from the 50th episode where that bloke is borderline giving Patrick grief at the viewing conditions and Patrick takes it all in his stride. Patrick looked awfully ill in the last footage we saw of him and I wonder if he knew at that point it was his last, something tells me he did.
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Old 14-01-2013, 16:48
TelevisionUser
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At a recent local astronomical meeting the speaker editor of a magazine when asked stated that he had asked bbc if the programme was continuing and they were lukewarm.
I feel there is a real danger we could lose this unless somehow the public could be made aware of this threat of closure.
I've no idea how that could be done.
I think there would be an outcry from both members of the public and the scientific community if the BBC tried to cancel but I don't think they'll do that. I hope that either Chris Lintott or Brian May can take over the hosting of the show. I don't know if the programme will revert to a central London studio rather than Sir Patrick's home in Selsey (which he wanted to be used as a museum and astronomy centre after he passed on http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/cele...a-museum..html).

I expect that at the time, they expected that he would either give up or expire pretty soon, so it was going to be shown to mark either, but as noted above, he went on rather longer than expected.

Many people involved in conflict do not wish to think about it and I wish Lawson had left the subject alone. It sounded like PM damaged his back in a crash on landing or similar. As for the PC line he was pushing, some interviewers should give it a rest.
It was a good interview and I suspect it was only to be shown after Sir Patrick's death which is possibly why it's never been broadcast before. I thought there were one or two times when Mark Lawson tried to push things too far when Sir Patrick made it quite clear that he did not want go down that road.

For example, the information in the public domain indicates that Sir Patrick served in Bomber Command as a navigator during WWII and had visited the Nazi concentration camp at Dachau in southern Germany. It is therefore understandable that he might not want to talk about these experiences.
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Old 14-01-2013, 19:19
Robin Davies
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I thought it was difficult at times, Patrick on several occasions obviously misunderstanding the question asked, veering off on different tracks at random,
I don't think he misunderstood. I think he was dodging questions he didn't want to answer and trying to steer the interview back onto subjects he was happier talking about.
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Old 14-01-2013, 20:56
swnymor1963
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Maybe I`am an optimist at heart...but I genuinely can`t see the BBC ditching The Sky at Night...Cheap as chips to make and a loyal audience to boot...I also think the real powers that be within the BBC would`t want to drop a program which has been on our screens and associated with the Corporation for over 50yrs.

The problem imo is finding someone to fill Sir Patrick's shoes...because when push comes to shove there is no one quite like Sir P....I think Brian May would be an ideal replacement but it would`t surprise me if his other commitments prevented him from following in Sir P foot steps....I`d be happy with Chris taking over the reins...Infact as long as his replacement has the required scientific credentials or is a keen and articulate amateur I`d be happy....Because lets face it, this is exactly what Sir P was when he first fronted the show.
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